Designer Focus


Olivier Rousteing infused Balmain's heritage with a pop culture-inspired attitude towards fashion. Known for impeccable tailoring and focus on the waist and shoulders, he strives to empower women.


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About the designer

When establishing his fashion house in 1945, Pierre Balmain provided an alternative for post-war women in need of a more frivolous wardrobe, known as their 'jolie madame'-style. Creative director Olivier Rousteing, appointed in 2011, slowly but steadily revolutionised the luxury house. With second-skin tailoring and dazzling embroidery he merges the classic Pierre Balmain influences with his contemporary take on today's women. Rousteing's signature designs involve structured shoulder pads and waists defined with belts underlining his admiration for empowering women.

Collection spring/summer 2018

With his signature second-skin tailoring and richly embroidered designs, Olivier Rousteing abides by Pierre Balmain’s classic influences while adding a glamorously sexy aesthetic to his collections. His spring/summer 2018 show started off in a monochrome fashion, with black and white tones wrapping the figure in patent leather maxi dresses and skin-tight bodices worn under avant-garde coats and sheer skirts. Prints were everywhere, either as geometric shapes, or as stripes and classic checks, to eccentric patchwork that exuded artistry. If there’s one thing to be noted - and as this is Balmain, there are always a few things - it’s the creative ruffle detailing that elevated the collections’ hemlines to true works of art. Slowly adding colour into the mix, Rousteing opted for vivid blues and reds to be strewn across cut-out tops, vamped-up knits and – as testament to his signature style – the iconic statement shoulder. Topped off with a hint of gold that pulled the final silhouettes together, Rousteing captured the dazzling essence of Balmain like never before.